How do I keep my coins safe? This is perhaps one of the most common questions surrounding cryptocurrencies. Many new Litecoin holders may have this question after buying their first coins or the ones who have decided to start mining and want to secure their rewards. Either way, many users want to secure their coins. And, while it is one of the most common questions, every month, tens of thousands of Litecoins are lost due to various reasons. Some of the most common ones being hacks, phishing attacks, or even physical assault.
This post has the sole purpose of bringing Litecoin holders the right information. While there are many sites from where users can research how to keep their Litecoin secure, many of the information out, there can be hard to understand for new users or even be completely false information. It is essential to only trust information from trusted sources, especially because some individuals can benefit from the fake information spread or found on the Internet. Now that we have mentioned this crucial information, let’s go ahead and start.
Never leave your coins in an exchange
It is prevalent for new users to simply store the Litecoin they recently bought right there on the transaction rather than setting up their wallets. It is most common on exchanges that are for beginners or the ones that are much easier to use like Binance, SouthXchange or Coinbase. While this option is the most comfortable choice for storing your new Litecoins, it is not the safest one. Users risk losing their coins if a specific exchange gets shut down or hacked (which happened in the past, Mt. Gox, ahem).
While it’s true that the exchanges previously mentioned are amongst the most reliable and trusted ones, that doesn’t mean they are exempt from attacks or other unfortunate events like their unannounced closure. It is almost inevitable that you’ll have some coins in an exchange, whether that is for selling, trading purposes, or even using them to buy other coins. In any case, you must always consider safety and maximize the security settings that are available for your account. Safety measures as two-factor authentication, email confirmation to enable withdrawals are still a must, including, of course, keeping the password to your account safe and with greater difficulty.
Look out for scams
Scams can happen in many different ways; users must always be aware and vigilant. Scams can vary, but one of the most common are the phishing attacks, a method where an individual pretends to be somebody else or a company to obtain sensitive information from you like a password, 12-seed passphrase, keys, and KYC information. Some of the most common are:
- Twitter giveaway scam: We’ve all probably seen a tweet from a verified user o a high profile individual followed by a reply trying to impersonate that same user saying that they want to give away a set amount of X cryptocurrency. It has almost become a meme where verified or high profile individuals add “not giving away X” to their Twitter handle. These giveaways usually ask the individual to send a certain amount of LTC. In exchange, they will receive ten times more Litecoin. Once you send those coins, you are never going to see them ever again.
- Telegram, Discord impersonation: Scammers leverage these social media platforms functionality that enables anyone to create a profile with the exact username of the person they are trying to impersonate. They usually pose as the person and try to extract sensitive information, convincing you that they are the person who you think they are. They can also add someone to a group without your permission. Then the created group imitates being a trusted platform, like Coinbase, and then asks you to send them LTC or to send them your password.
- Fake emails: In phishing emails, the attacker creates an email template and sender signature that makes the email look precisely like it was sent by the company or individual that he is posing as. Before taking action on something, an email tells you, always double-check if the sender is indeed who he claims. When you’re in doubt, double-check with the company in question by emailing their support email and ask if they sent you an email.
- Fake Ads: When browsing on the Internet, you must always be very careful with the ads that you click on. There have been numerous cases of ads created to imitate a cryptocurrency exchange, which then links to a page controlled by the attacker, which is used to steal your password.
- Fake news bot: This type of scam is relatively new and most common on platforms like Discord. The scam consists of an individual using a bot to deliver fake news about the release of a new wallet version that addresses critical security issues. The message looks very similar to the real deal. As it attacks about security issues, some users may be afraid of losing their coins, that is probably why many users fall for this scam. Official wallet updates will always be announced through the official social media channel or the Litecoin website.
Consider getting a wallet focused on security
As previously stated, it is crucial that after buying your coins from an exchange, you must withdraw them to your preferred wallet. Now, we have a whole post about Litecoin wallets, where we discuss the different types of wallets that exist. That being said, we’ll just briefly mention the main categories.
There are mainly two types of wallets, cold and hot wallets. Hot wallets are connected to the Internet, accessing coins stored in them is by far more accessible for everyday uses like day to day trading or payments. However, since they’re connected to the Internet, they’re also susceptible to Internet risks like hacking. There are exceptions for the rule with coins that are hot wallets but are still extremely secure; you just need to research each wallet’s strengths and weaknesses.
On the other hand, cold wallets are not connected to the Internet, which in turn makes it harder to access the coins quickly. Not being connected to the Internet also means that they are less susceptible to hacking or other individual trying to steal your coins. Usually, the coins stored on a cold wallet are ones that you won’t be frequently moving or HODLING. Again, there are exceptions to the rule; not all cold wallets are completely secure.
Whether you chose a hot or a cold wallet, always bear in mind that you must, at all times, take the necessary precautions to make sure you keep your Litecoins safe. Stay safe out there!